Members at Parkside (County Hall North) might be aware of plans for the RSPCA to occupy the 4th Floor at County Hall North. As part of RSPCA working practices and policy, the RSPCA as an employer, allows staff to bring dogs to work.
The advantage of dogs in workplaces is well understood, especially in relation to mental health and employee morale, but it isn’t without issue and the UNISON West Sussex Branch has raised several concerns in relation to phobias, health and safety and the arrangements for the welfare of employee’s dogs when on site.
The Branch is satisfied with the responses received so far from WSCC and the internal RSPCA employer’s policy, which provides additional reassurances. These indicate this will be well-managed and controlled, with separate routes of entrance and exit, as well as limitation in the number of dogs in the workplace.
UNISON has also raised a concern on how parking and other issues will be managed, with additional staff being on site. We have received assurances that additional parking spaces will not be provided for RSPCA, though RSPCA staff with Blue Badges would need to be catered for and the branch accepts this.
UNISON and the RSPCA recognise the role of any service or assistance dogs that might need to be on site, and it is clear this is managed and supported within other policies as part of supporting Equality and diversity in the workplace.
Whilst the Branch is happy with the received assurances, we are on hand to advise and provide support to our members if we find there are issues in practice, and members need our support to resolve them.